The Protection Of Birds During Nesting Season

Goldcrest

All wild birds are protected during nesting season. This includes their nests, whilst in use or being built, as well as any eggs the nest may contain. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) it is an offence to:

  • intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird,
  • intentionally damage, destroy or take the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built,
  • intentionally destroy an egg of any wild bird
  • and intentionally or recklessly disturb certain wild birds or their dependent young while they are nesting.
Robin

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Top Reasons to Keep Cats Indoors

Cat Bernd

Domestication and Pet Ownership

Ethically seen it is quite obvious – domestication and pet ownership violate the fundamental rights of non-human animals. When talking about basic animal rights, then we really should only talk about one basic right – the right not to be regarded as ‘property’. If we agree on the fact that human and non-human animals are not ‘things’ or ‘objects’, then they cannot be a property. Also, if human and non-human animals are regarded as ‘objects’, then they logically cannot have an intrinsic value, and therefore they cannot have any rights. Only the owner of an object, or in our case a pet, has got rights, not the object or the pet itself.

Cat Angelika

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Jackdaw Jacky – Thoughts About Sentience

Jacky is a western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula), also known as Eurasian jackdaw, European jackdaw, or simply jackdaw, and is a passerine bird belonging to the crow family. She is a seven year old imprinted bird, whose care we have taken over about one year ago. Jacky is unfortunately not releasable, as she has spent her whole life with humans. Jacky has been rescued as a fledgling by a well meaning person, who raised and unintentionally imprinted her. It did not take long for Jacky to conquer our hearts. Jacky lives with us, as she is not comfortable with other residential jackdaws, and is sadly not being tolerated by her own kind. Experiencing non-human animals like Jacky can be an eye opener for people, who never had this kind of close relationship with non-human animals like her. And as people, who have already opened their minds and hearts towards the plight of human as well as non-human animals, we are still again and again amazed by what we can learn from our non-human fellows. This insight makes it even more difficult to comprehend and live with the widely accepted normality and legality of discrimination and persecution of human and non-human animals.

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Racing Pigeon Biscay

Racing pigeon Biscay

This story occurred a couple of years ago, but the described scenario and underlying problem is as timeless as ever. During my evening shift as marine mammal surveyor on board of a ferry on route to Santander in Spain, I was forced to witness a small group of lost racing pigeons loosing their fight against the strong winds of the Bay of Biscay. I had to watch the drama unfolding, and there was nothing I could do to help. In this respect, spring and autumn surveys are known to be particularly emotionally demanding, as surveyors are regularly forced to helplessly watch the struggle of travelling and migrating birds. This situation is neither unexpected nor unique, but can be emotionally draining. At the very least, it feels very surreal when witnessing tragedies like this one on board of a luxurious ferry, where most people are busy enjoying their lives and holidays. Most of these tragic encounters go unnoticed and are missed even by keen birders and whale and dolphin enthusiasts armed with expensive gear. 

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The Myth Of Humane Lethal Wildlife Management

Fox cub

Let me get straight to the point – wildlife management using lethal methods such as culling or killing is not just unethical and unnecessary, it is scientifically proven to be inefficient in almost all cases, in particular long-term. However, despite this common knowledge, governments, farmers, hunters, gamekeepers, pest controllers and many conservationists will almost exclusively suggest lethal methods of wildlife control as the most effective solution in wildlife conservation, wildlife management and to address any wildlife related problem. Scientific evidence suggesting the opposite will be commonly ignored, wrongly interpreted, or used out of context. There are many known factors, which influence public opinion and behaviour, but also common and widely accepted management practices. First we will highlight some of the more common problems and misperceptions, as this kind of background information may prove useful for the general understanding, before we will explore examples of lethal wildlife management and their consequences.

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